Two Virginia men arrested in connection with shooting at Nags Head hotel

Published 4:21 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Two Midlothian, Virginia men have been arrested in a reported accidental shooting at a Nags Head hotel, according to a news release from the Town of Nags Head.

Nags Head police officers responded at 2 a.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2023 to a call for service for gunshot trauma at the Surf Side Hotel in the 6700 block of South Virginia Dare Trail. Arriving officers found a female suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to her head, stated the release.

The victim, a 17-year-old from Dinwiddie County, Virginia, was treated by Dare County Emergency Services and transported to The Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head before being transferred to a hospital in Virginia. Her condition is still critical.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

“According to a preliminary investigation, the isolated incident took place among a group of friends staying in the hotel,” stated the release. “One of the men is alleged to have mishandled the firearm.”


Ashton Mills, left, and Joshua Smith. Courtesy Town of Nags Head

Ashton Mills, 22, is believed to be responsible for the discharge of the firearm, according to the release. He has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and felony obstruction of justice. He remains in the Dare County Detention Center under a $230,000 secured bond.

Joshua Smith, 23, was charged with storage of firearms to protect minors has been released on a $2,500 unsecured bond.

“Nags Head’s Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the events leading up to this tragic incident,” the release continued. “Further charges may be forthcoming.”

NHPD expressed thanks to the Dare County Sheriff’s Office and Dare County Emergency Services for their assistance.

“Nags Head’s Police Department requests that the public keep family and friends impacted by this event in their thoughts during this difficult time,” stated the release.